Continuous Delivery & Operability
Continuous Delivery & Operability
Continuous Delivery & Operability

Last updated on 2020-08-31

About the Book

In this book, Steve Smith will describe how to implement the principles and practices at the intersection of Continuous Delivery and Operability, so you can maximise deployment throughput and live service reliability.

This book will answer these key questions, for your enterprise organisation:

  1. Why should you adopt Continuous Delivery and Operability?
  2. How do you combine a minimal time to market with maximum reliability?
  3. How do you bring Continuous Delivery and Operability to life?

Continuous Delivery is a set of well-defined principles and practices that increase revenues and reduce costs, by accelerating production launches to sustainably meet product demand. Operability is a set of post-DevOps, part-SRE practices that protect revenues and reduce costs, by ensuring services are easy to reliably and safely operate in production. Continuous Delivery & Operability are essential co-dependencies for any enterprise organisation that wishes to combine a fast time to market with reliable business operations.

Who should read this book

This book is aimed at leaders and practitioners in any IT department, who want to get the most out of Continuous Delivery and Operability. That includes people with technical and non-technical backgrounds in development, testing, operations, and much more.

It is based on 12 years of experience in Continuous Delivery and Operability leadership and hands-on roles. Those roles include building a deployment pipeline for 8 teams/70 microliths in a media organisation with £14Bpa revenue, building an operability toolchain for 60 teams/600 microservices in a UK government department with £500Bpa revenue, and creating a Continuous Delivery & Operability strategy for 30 teams/100 microservices in a high street retailer with £2Bpa website revenue.

In this book

This book will describe how to implement live services with a minimal time to market, and maximum reliability. It will cover how to encourage a mindset of Continuous Delivery and Operability in your organisation, via a paradigm shift from Optimising For Robustness to Optimising For Resilience. It will build on all the best bits from books such as Continuous Delivery, Lean Enterprise, The DevOps Handbook, Site Reliability Engineering, and Accelerate. It will also warn of the DevOps cargo cult, the GitOps placebo, and the ITIL relic.

There will be an emphasis on principles and practices over tools. For example, there will be a discussion of a Production Support Is Revenue Insurance principle, rather debating the merits of PagerDuty and OpsGenie as incident response platforms. There is a smorgasbord of tools available, and there is never a single, perfect tool.

The Table Of Contents will be:

  • Introduction - understanding IT As A Business Differentiator and Optimising For Resilience, using the Improvement Kata
  • Invest - linking deployment targets to product demand, calculating availability targets via revenue loss bands, prioritising operational features
  • Measure - assessing throughput by lead time and frequency, evaluating reliability by availability and time to restore
  • Build - architecting and designing for failure, configuring version control, favouring decoupling over deduplication
  • Deploy - using a lightweight container runtime, smoke testing for deployment failures, deploying on Fridays
  • Test - replacing End-To-End Testing with contract testing and monitoring, quarantining intermittent tests, mandating an opinionated set of environments, running a Chaos Day
  • Understand - creating a deployment pipeline for logging/monitoring/alerting/analytics, deriving Service Level Indicators and Service Level Objectives from availability targets, writing runbooks, linking into incident response platforms
  • Launch - establishing operational readiness via self-assessment, aligning Continuous Delivery with ITIL change requests, implementing You Build It You Run It rotas for 1 to 100 teams
  • Support - responding to and mitigating incidents, analysing incidents for human and technical factors, constructing organisational knowledge
  • Divest - moving from active development to dormancy, preventing operational maintenance modes

Case Studies

Each chapter will include case studies from real teams, to help you understand how Continuous Delivery and Operability have been applied in other enterprise organisations. Contributors will include Chris O'Dell, Emily Bache, Thierry de Pauw, Denise Yu, and more.


The forewords to this book will be written by Dave Farley and John Allspaw. Dave Farley is the co-author of the Continuous Delivery book. John Allspaw served as CTO at Etsy, and holds an MSc in Human Factors and Systems Safety from Lund University.

Praise for this book

Before it's even 1% published!

"Looks like something I would read and recommend to others to put under the noses of influential types in orgs keen to make a change" - Mark Jones, Developer & Operability Engineer


This book will start in Q4 2020, and carry on in 2021. Chapters and sections will be continuously published when ready. There will be a print version of the book on completion.

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About the Author

Steve Smith
Steve Smith

Steve Smith is a Continuous Delivery & Operability consultant at Continuous Delivery Consulting. Since 2008, Steve has worked on Continuous Delivery and Operability transformation programmes, in leadership and hands-on roles for public and private sector organisations.

Those roles include building a deployment pipeline for 8 teams/70 microliths in a media company with £14Bpa revenue, building an operability toolchain for 60 teams/600 microservices in a UK government department with £500Bpa revenue, and creating a Continuous Delivery & Operability strategy for 30 teams/100 microservices in a high street retailer with £2Bpa website revenue.

Steve is the author of Measuring Continuous Delivery, plus a co-author of A Children's A to Z of Continuous Delivery and Build Quality In. Steve blogs at, chats on Twitter at @SteveSmith_Tech, and is a regular conference speaker.

About the Contributors

Chris O'Dell
Chris O'Dell

Continuous Delivery engineer

Chris has been developing software with Microsoft technologies for nearly fourteen years. She currently works at Monzo helping to build the future of banking.

She has led teams delivering highly available Web APIs, distributed systems and cloud based services. She has also led teams developing internal build and deployment tooling using the unconventional mix of .Net codebases onto AWS infrastructure.

Chris promotes practices we know as Continuous Delivery, including TDD, version control, and Continuous Integration.

Dave Farley
Dave Farley

Continuous Delivery author

Dave Farley is a thought leader in the field of software development, and has a long track record in creating high-performance teams, shaping organisations for success and creating outstanding software. Dave is a co-author of Continuous Delivery, the book that describes what many regard as the state-of-the-art in software development. He is one of the authors of the Reactive Manifesto which describes a modern approach to high-performance, efficient, system design. He was also an early contributor to the Duke Award winning open source LMAX Disruptor project

Denise Yu
Denise Yu

Denise is a software engineer. She speaks regularly at Meetups and conferences in Europe, North America, and Asia on a wide range of topics including continuous delivery, organisational culture, infrastructure-as-code, test-driven development, and diversity and inclusion in the tech industry.

Emily Bache
Emily Bache

Technical Agile Coach

Emily Bache is a software developer with an interest in community and lifelong learning. She has delivered working software with tests while working in organizations as diverse as small startup and large corporation. These days Emily is a Technical Agile Coach with ProAgile. Her blog is called "Coding is Like Cooking". Emily is originally from the U.K. but now lives in Göteborg, Sweden.

John Allspaw
John Allspaw

Operability pioneer

John Allspaw has worked in software systems engineering and operations for over twenty years in many different environments. John’s publications include the books The Art of Capacity Planning (2009) and Web Operations (2010), as well as the foreword to The DevOps Handbook. His 2009 Velocity talk with Paul Hammond, 10+ Deploys Per Day: Dev and Ops Cooperation helped start the DevOps movement. John served as CTO at Etsy, and holds an MSc in Human Factors and Systems Safety from Lund University.

Thierry de Pauw
Thierry de Pauw

Continuous Delivery consultant and engineer

Thierry is an Engineer at the fintech startup PaxFamilia.

On the side, he founded ThinkingLabs where he advises organisations in the adoption of Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery.

Thierry is a lean software engineer, junior ops engineer, CI/CD advocate and jack-of-all-trades with a passion to help teams create meaningful software, with a keen eye for code quality and the software delivery process, from customer interaction to continuous delivery. Instead of balancing quality and delivery, he believes and practices, that better quality is actually a way to more and better deliveries.

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